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Lamar Smith and Steve King: The Paradigm Committee Chairmen

When the Republican led 112th congress is sworn in next January, the magnitude of the turnover will be most evident on the Judiciary Committee.  Instead of radical John Conyers heading the committee, we will have border champion Lamar Smith as chairman.  Also, instead of Zoe Lofgren chairing the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, Steve King will lead that panel.  Today, the Miami Herald is reporting that Congressman King plans to go after birthright citizenship during the next congress.  While other Republicans are intimidated by the left’s demagoguery and distortion of the 14th amendment, King realizes that the constitution never meant to bestow citizenship upon babies that are illegally thrown across the border.

This latest news concerning Steve King made me reflect on what we are lacking in leadership of other vital House committees.  For many years, we have been conditioned to accept the reality that important committees (A’s and B’s) will be chaired by the old bull, compromising, Democrat light veterans.  We see this playing out in regard to the chairmanships of the Energy and Approps Committees.  But why should we settle for mediocrity when it comes to committee chairmanships?  Why should we have our weakest link on spending issues chair the Appropriations Committee, or a big government statist chair the Energy and Commerce Committee?

We should have our toughest guns who have excelled in those particular issues lead the committee.  Lamar Smith and Steve King have fought against illegal immigration for years and therefore rightfully deserve the leadership of those panels which deal with immigration related issues.  However, when you examine the seniority of the other committees you find that at best the leadership is mediocre and at worst it is Democrat light.  This is why the Judiciary Committee stands out to me as a guide for who should be appointed Chairman of their respective committees.


Instead of Fred Upton as chairman of E@C and Jerry Lewis at Approps, let’s push for Joe Pitts and Jack Kingston as Erick Erickson has suggested.  But we can’t stop there.

One of the biggest prizes of winning the House is the removal of Barney Frank as Chairman of the Financial Services Committee.  Yet, Spencer Bachus, a man who has voted for TARP, the bailouts, and has been weak on Freddie and Fannie, is slated to become the Chairman of this committee.  We need to support Ed Royce’s challenge to Bachus.  He has a conservative voting record as opposing TARP and the bailouts, sporting a 98% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union over the span of 18 years.  Royce is the only one who will roll back the takeover of the financial sector and clamp down on the Democrat’s Wall Street lobbyists.

The House Ways and Means Committee is a super A committee that is responsible for all tax bills, trade issues, and much of the entitlement legislation.  One could make an argument that it is the most important committee in Congress.  Yet, Rep. Dave Camp (MI-4), a moderate who has supported big government bailouts, is poised to control the tax writing panel.  Wally Herger (CA-2) is the next  in line of seniority and would be a better choice.  Sam Johnson (TX-3) would be the best choice of all.  He has ammased a perfect voting record in his 20 years of service in the House.

The bottom line is that we need more people like Lamar Smith and Steve King to chair key committees and subcommittees.  It is imperative that the Republican who provides us with the starkest contrast from the Democrats become our leading voice on that issue.  Only those who have shown the willingness to battle the Democrats and reject every one of their erroneous premises should be promoted to chairman.  We need to reject all complaints from those who peddle seniority at the expense of ideology, voting records, and effectiveness.  After all, why have a an old hen guard the Democrat fox house when we can have a young and feisty wolf guard it?

Cross-posted to Red Meat Conservative

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